On Monday evening, a large group of protesters destroyed a 105-year-old Confederate statue named “Silent Sam” standing on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
On the evening of August 20, a group of students gathered to demand that university officials remove the statue that has stood since 1913 on McCorkle Place in the university’s upper quad. But after several hours of chanting and speaking about the destruction of the statue, the protesters took the situation into their own hands and tore the monument down, ABC 11 reported.
— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinABC11) August 21, 2018
Many of the protesters were rallying in solidarity with former UNC graduate student Maya Little who was facing expulsion as well as criminal charges for covering the statue with red paint back in May.
Police moved in and began attempting to disperse the crowd but acted far too late to stop the destruction of the monument.
The statue, dedicated to UNC students who fell in battle fighting for the Confederate Army, was raised in June of 1913. On the day it was dedicated, Bettie Jackson of the United Daughters of the Confederacy said the monument was “erected in memory of those students of this university who served in the armies of the Confederate States of America.”
But, the UNC student exclaimed that the statue was a celebration of “white supremacists.”
“It’s time to build monuments to honor those who have been murdered by white supremacy,” Little said, according to the News Observer. “It’s time to tear down Silent Sam. It’s time to tear down UNC’s institutional white supremacy.”
The university issued a very short statement about the night’s destruction, saying the protesters acted in a dangerous manner and the school is investigating the incident.
A statement about the Confederate Monument at UNC-Chapel Hill pic.twitter.com/7D45yiAAeb
— UNC-Chapel Hill (@UNC) August 21, 2018
The entire body of the monument is on the ground. pic.twitter.com/qcUl6MLRFr
— The Daily Tar Heel (@dailytarheel) August 21, 2018
— WRAL NEWS in NC (@WRAL) August 21, 2018
#UNC PhD candidate @jerryjwilson announces: "From this day until the day that the Confederate monument known as #SilentSam is removed from campus, I intend to wear a noose around my neck while on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill." Full statement: pic.twitter.com/uHJPkbjbik
— Alyssa Bowen ❄️☃️ (@AlyssaAnnBowen) August 20, 2018
— The Daily Tar Heel (@dailytarheel) August 20, 2018
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthnuston.